Master of Arts (MA)
Motherland (working title) is a documentary, examining refugees from Bhutan and Nepal living in the United States and the challenges they face. The film explores an alarming trend of suicides within this community through one family’s story. It also looks at both the promises and challenges of coming to America as a refugee. Motherland focuses on the Regmis, a family originally from Bhutan who lived in a refugee camp in Nepal for nearly 20 years before coming to the United States in 2010. Lok Regmi, the main character in the film lost his brother Prem to suicide last year. Lok tells the story of what happened to his brother and how the family dealt with the aftermath of his suicide. Through Lok’s story the viewer will see how traumatic life experiences have impacted these refugees. Mental health and depression are prevalent among this community. By watching this film, the audience gets to learn about some of the factors that have contributed to these suicides. The movie also follows the life of Jay Subedi, a refugee and caseworker in Syracuse who was intimately involved in the family’s experience of losing their son. Through these two characters the film paints a portrait of refugee life in America and seeks to understand why there have been so many suicides in this particular community.
Hope Schnell, Kayle, "Motherland" (2014). CUNY Academic Works.